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Have you ever been to McDonald's, really craving a McFlurry, only to be told that the machine isn't working? It's the worst.
However, the gut-punching news that you can't grab a sweet treat with your Big Mac and fries may soon be a thing of the past, thanks to one plucky app designer.
Software engineer Rashiq Zahid, who lives in Germany, announced on Twitter that he has designed a programme which could tell those that fancy a McFlurry which McDonald's nearby have working ice-cream machines.
The 24-year-old came up with the system after he went to order an ice-cream in Berlin over the summer, only to be told the machine was broken.
He then used his IT skills to create a bot which automatically queries whether you can order a McSundae from McDonald's restaurants every 30 minutes.
If the restaurant accepts the order, the restaurant's location on the app turns green.
I reverse engineered mcdonald's internal api and I'm currently placing an order worth $18,752 every minute at every mcdonald's in the US to figure out which locations have a broken ice cream machine https://t.co/2KsRwAdrMd
- rashiq (@rashiq) October 22, 2020
Zahid put a lot of legwork cycling round all the McDonald's in Berlin to make sure his bot was returning the correct data. Once he was certain everything was in good working order, Zahid took the programme Stateside.
The website, which Zahid has titled McBroken, displays a map of every McDonald's in the US, with each location assigned its own dot.
Green dots means a McFlurry is good to go, while the red dots symbolise that the ice-cream machine is broken.
McBroken is reliant on each individual McDonald's having to inform the app the status of its ice cream machine, but it's much better than walking to your closest McDonald's and hoping for the best.
And it's safe to say McBroken has been a runaway success. The Verge reports the site receiving over 10,000 visitors just 20 minutes after it launched, even causing it to initially crash.
David Tovar, McDonald's Vice President of Communications in the States, was similarly blown away, writing: "Only a true McDonalds fan would go to these lengths to help customers get our delicious ice cream!"
Only a true @McDonalds fan would go to these lengths to help customers get our delicious ice cream! So, thanks! We know we have some opportunities to consistently satisfy even more customers with sweet treats and we will.
- David Tovar (@dwtovar) October 23, 2020
Interestingly, the app has just gone to show just how many McDonald's have broken McFlurry machines, with 10 per cent in the US reporting to be out of service.
While Zahid is yet to move his app over to the UK, we can only hope that in the future the McBroken app will halt any ice-cream related disappointments.
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